Fleas and Worms
A heavy flea infestation in a small puppy or kitten can lead to severe anaemia so prompt treatment is essential. There are a number of effective products available, however no one product treats everything. We will recommend the best product for your pet based on an individual risk assessment.
Not all of the over-the-counter products from pet shops and supermarkets are completely effective. The majority of products obtained from veterinary practices are strictly Prescription Only Medicines. This means that they are proven to be effective. However, as such we can only supply them to our clients for patients under our care.
The three most common worms that may affect your puppy are roundworm (toxocara), tapeworm and lungworm. The most common worms that may affect your kitten are roundworm and tapeworm.
Your puppy can be born with roundworms that have crossed the placenta or been acquired via the mother’s milk. Your kitten can also ingest these through it’s mother’s milk. Severe infestations of toxocara can cause your puppy or kitten to vomit and to have diarrhoea and this in turn can cause failure to thrive.
Toxocara is a zoonosis (a disease that is transmissible from animals to humans). Ingestion of the eggs in humans can cause blindness, particularly in children. There are thousands of eggs per gram of faeces. Even if the faeces is picked up, eggs remain on the ground. They are microscopic, meaning we cannot see them with the naked eye. Everywhere that your kitten goes it is likely that he or she will be re-ingesting the eggs.
Cats can also catch tapeworms from eating rodents and fish as they too can be carriers. We advise that you check your cat for tapeworm segments around the area of the anus on a regular basis. If you notice these segments then please give us a call. We will be able to supply an effective worming tablet or a spot on treatment provided we have seen your pet within the last twelve months.
Regular treatment is essential. Treatment intervals are determined by risk but every 3 months is the minimum. There are various options available for treatment, including tablets and “spot-on” preparations.
The intermediate host for the tapeworm is the flea. Consequently, even if your pet is wormed regularly tapeworms will continue to reappear unless the flea infestation has been controlled. Flea larvae eat tapeworm eggs, adult fleas are ingested by your puppy and the cycle will begin again. It is for this reason that we recommend regular treatment with an effective flea treatment, thus also helping to prevent tapeworm.